January 29, 2009

City Taking No Prisoners In War On Blight

City of Lockport Judge Tom DiMillo gets a rousing thumbs up for his recent fine of an absentee landlord who has refused to make the required repairs to a rental property. DiMillo hit the delinquent rental property owner with a $12,000 fine this week in housing court.

A big thumbs up also goes to prosecutor Matt Brooks. Brooks said he hopes the fine — by far, the largest ever levied in Lockport housing court — sends a message to other property owners who would “abuse the system” by playing the monthly appearance game but not making required repairs. We could not agree more.

The city of Lockport is a beautiful, historic community. That being said, the number one problem in the city is blighted housing. The teamwork of Mayor Mike Tucker and the Common Council, who after years of neglect finally gave the Building Inspection an acceptable number of bodies to work with, the Building Inspection Department personnel, DiMillo and Brooks cannot be overlooked. They have set in motion the policies and procedures to address the blight in a manner which has never been seen in the city.

Urban renewal ensured that most cities, including Lockport, can never return to the glorious days gone by. But that doesn't mean that it can't be an excellent community to raise a family. Cracking down on the scumbag slumlords is a huge step in the right direction. Keep up the good work, it's being noticed.


Mr. Pink said...

This type of action should be the number one priority of all urban areas in WNY, be it Lockport, Niagara Falls, N.T. or Buffalo.

These absentee landlors that fail to keep up their property lead to the destabilization of neighborhoods and ultimately an uptick in crime.

If you want people to move into cities, you need to do more of what Lockport is doing.

Dark Knight said...

This is why landlord licensing laws make sense even though many of us reflexively are opposed to government intrusion.